Governor Steve Beshear's Communications Office
Governor Beshear Announces Funding for Federal Battery Laboratory

Press Release Date:  Thursday, December 10, 2009  
Contact Information:  Kerri Richardson
Jill Midkiff
502-564-2611
 


$3.5 million part of state’s commitment to creating national R&D facility in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Steve Beshear and Cabinet for Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Larry Hayes today announced the approval of state funding of up to $3.5 million for the Kentucky-Argonne Battery Manufacturing Research and Development Center in Lexington.  The state funds, which were approved by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority from the Cabinet for Economic Development’s High-Tech Pools, will be matched with up to $3.5 million in federal funds.

In April, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville announced a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory to establish a National Battery Manufacturing R&D Center in Kentucky. The Argonne-managed facility will aid nationwide efforts to develop and deploy a domestic supply of advanced battery technologies for vehicle applications to assist in securing U.S. energy independence, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help in strengthening the economy. The two Kentucky universities have agreed to contribute lab space, donor funds, R&D grant funds and researchers.

“Today’s funding approval demonstrates our commitment to making Kentucky a leader in the development of advanced energy technologies,” said Gov. Beshear. “Our nation’s future energy security and economic prosperity depend on having reliable energy technologies, including advanced lithium-ion batteries that we’re helping develop right here in Kentucky.”

The Battery R&D Center’s major goals are to support the development of advanced lithium-ion batteries; facilitate collaborations between federal labs, universities, manufacturers, suppliers and end-users; develop advanced manufacturing technologies to reduce battery production costs; and accelerate the commercialization of technologies developed at national laboratories and universities.

“The Battery R&D Center will help greatly increase the amount of federal and private research dollars coming to Kentucky and will lead to additional high-paying, high-tech jobs,” said Secretary Hayes. “The opportunities for collaboration between the Argonne facility and our research universities will provide an economic engine that benefits Kentuckians across the region.”

The approved funds will be used to purchase specialized equipment and make necessary facility improvements for manufacturing and testing lithium-ion batteries, asymmetric capacitors and other advanced electrochemical energy storage systems.

Argonne National Laboratory, near Chicago, is a multi-disciplinary federal research facility with over 1,000 scientists and engineers and an annual operating budget of over $600 million. The lab’s many roles include serving as the nation’s lead research facility for transportation-related R&D, including basic and applied research on advanced materials and diagnostics for electrodes and cells; modeling battery life expectancy and electrochemical cell design and performance; and testing cell and battery systems.

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